Can't Buy Happiness?

Money, personality, and well-being

Useful Tips for Buying Your Teen's First Car

Buying the right car for your teenager can prove to be a challenge.

Buying the right car for your teenager
Buying the right car for your teenager can prove to be a challenge. A lot of parents out there think it’s just about picking one and going with it. However, your teenager obviously doesn’t think like you. While your concern is the price tag and also how the vehicle fares in the long run, your teenager simply wants a “cool ride” that he or she can show off to friends! 

While you can always advise your teen to maintain the car by buying cheaper spare parts from Autozone or even from early Black Friday special online, what’s more important is that he or she buys a car that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance and is easy on the pocket...

The good thing with buying your teen a car and making him or her part of the decision making process is that it will help him or her understand responsibility. In the following post I look into a few simple yet effective tips that you can use to search for a safe and reliable car along with your teen....

#1: Don’t Ignore Safety

It’s essential to get a safe and secure car for your teen because studies have shown that teenagers are more likely to end up in a car crash when compared to older, more experienced drivers. Also, a lot of parents seem to focus more on the size, but it isn’t the only important factor when choosing a car for your teen. You also need to look at the crash test results and other safety features. In most of the cases you’ll find that the “late model” cars are the ones that have more safety equipment such as anti-lock brakes and airbags.

#2: Educate Your Teenager

While it’s crucial that you buy a safe car for your teenager, what’s more important is to teach him or her how to drive safely. Because no matter how safe and secure a car is, it’s in the hands of the driver to stay out of danger. So make sure you send your teen to a quality driving school where he or she can get the needed education to drive a vehicle safely. The more driving school your teen attends, the better it is in the long run. Besides this, you as a parent should impart some tips on your own to your teen and also make him or her aware of the dangers of driving in an unsafe manner.

#3: Check the Quality of Used Cars

In the past few years, the cost of used cars has climbed up to a great extent. A used car that cost $3,000 two years ago may sell for $6,000 today. While the prices have definitely gone up, the quality has come down. And being a parent you do not want your child to be driving a used car that has not been well maintained as it can lead to dangerous consequences on the road. If you’re going to buy a used car see to it that you’ve checked it completely and get a pre-inspection done by a certified mechanic. 

Also, if you’re going for a low budget car, then expect to spend some amount on its maintenance and in buying extra spareparts. The idea here is to get your teen a used car that is completely safe and wouldn’t give problems in the future.

At BeyondThePurchase.Org we help people understand the relationship between money and happiness. To better understand the benefits of specific consumer choices, we continue to investigate the relationships between consumer preferences, psychological needs, happiness, and values at our website by allowing people to take tests on personality. To learn about what might be influencing how you think about and spend your money, register with Beyond The Purchase, then take a few of our personality quizzes:

Can money buy happiness? Take our experiential buying survey and on your feedback page you will learn how to spend your money to be happier.

Which spending decisions will make you happiest? Take our Spending Choices and Happiness survey and on your feedback page you will learn how to spend your money to be happier.

In what ways do you hope your purchases will transform your life? The Transformation Expectations Questionnaire will tell you about what you expect from your next big purchase.

With these insights, you can better understand the ways in which your financial decisions affect your happiness. Responses to these surveys will also help researchers further understand the connection between money and happiness.

About the author:

Nancy Evans is a freelance writer who enjoys helping her family, and others, learn financial responsibility. 

Ryan T. Howell, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at San Francisco State University.

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